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The Dignity of Working Men — Michèle Lamont | Harvard University Press
"Michèle Lamont takes us into the world inhabited by working-class men—the world as they understand it. Interviewing black and white working-class men who, because they are not college graduates, have limited access to high-paying jobs and other social benefits, she constructs a revealing portrait of how they see themselves and the rest of society. Morality is at the center of these workers’ worlds. They find their identity and self-worth in their ability to discipline themselves and conduct responsible but caring lives. These moral standards function as an alternative to economic definitions of success, offering them a way to maintain dignity in an out-of-reach American dreamland. But these standards also enable them to draw class boundaries toward the poor and, to a lesser extent, the upper half. Workers also draw rigid racial boundaries, with white workers placing emphasis on the “disciplined self” and blacks on the “caring self.” Whites thereby often construe blacks as morally inferior because they are lazy, while blacks depict whites as domineering, uncaring, and overly disciplined. This book also opens up a wider perspective by examining American workers in comparison with French workers, who take the poor as “part of us” and are far less critical of blacks than they are of upper-middle-class people and immigrants. By singling out different “moral offenders” in the two societies, workers reveal contrasting definitions of “cultural membership” that help us understand and challenge the forms of inequality found in both societies."
book  publisher  work  class  income-distribution  morality 
november 2016 by tsuomela
" Compellingly written, shot through with honesty and empathy, Those Who Work, Those Who Don’t is a rare firsthand account that studies the rural poor. As incomes erode and the American dream becomes more and more inaccessible, Sherman reveals that moral values and practices become a way for the poor to gain status and maintain a sense of dignity in the face of economic ruin. "
book  publisher  work  class  income-distribution  rural  morality 
november 2016 by tsuomela
Working-Class Heroes - Maria Kefalas - Paperback - University of California Press
"Chicago's Southwest Side is one of the last remaining footholds for the city's white working class, a little-studied and little-understood segment of the American population. This book paints a nuanced and complex portrait of the firefighters, police officers, stay-at-home mothers, and office workers living in the stable working-class community known as Beltway. Building on the classic Chicago School of urban studies and incorporating new perspectives from cultural geography and sociology, Maria Kefalas considers the significance of home, community, and nation for Beltway residents."
book  publisher  work  class  income-distribution  urban  morality 
november 2016 by tsuomela
When and Why Nationalism Beats Globalism - The American Interest
"And how moral psychology can help explain and reduce tensions between the two."
psychology  morality  nationalism  global  cosmopolitanism 
july 2016 by tsuomela
David Brooks struggles against the growing acquiescence to Trump by other Republicans.
politics  campaign  2016  psychology  morality  ethics  conservative 
june 2016 by tsuomela
New Demons: Rethinking Power and Evil Today // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame
"Simona Forti, New Demons: Rethinking Power and Evil Today, Zakiya Hanafi (trs.), Stanford University Press, 2015, 388pp., $29.95 (pbk), ISBN 9780804792950."
book  review  philosophy  evil  ethics  morality 
october 2015 by tsuomela
Hearts and Minds | Easily Distracted
"Much as I disliked Jonathan Haidt’s recent book The Righteous Mind overall, I’m quite interested in many of the basic propositions that this strain of cognitive science and social psychology are proposing about mind, consciousness, agency, responsibility and will. Most often what frustrates me most is not how unsettling the scholars writing in this vein are but how much they domesticate their arguments or avoid thinking through the implications of their findings."
psychology  religion  morality 
may 2015 by tsuomela
PLOS ONE: Everything Is Permitted? People Intuitively Judge Immorality as Representative of Atheists
"Scientific research yields inconsistent and contradictory evidence relating religion to moral judgments and outcomes, yet most people on earth nonetheless view belief in God (or gods) as central to morality, and many view atheists with suspicion and scorn. To evaluate intuitions regarding a causal link between religion and morality, this paper tested intuitive moral judgments of atheists and other groups. Across five experiments (N = 1,152), American participants intuitively judged a wide variety of immoral acts (e.g., serial murder, consensual incest, necrobestiality, cannibalism) as representative of atheists, but not of eleven other religious, ethnic, and cultural groups. Even atheist participants judged immoral acts as more representative of atheists than of other groups. These findings demonstrate a prevalent intuition that belief in God serves a necessary function in inhibiting immoral conduct, and may help explain persistent negative perceptions of atheists."
atheism  morality  religion  ethics 
april 2014 by tsuomela
Emily Nussbaum: Norman Lear and the Rise of the Divided Audience : The New Yorker
"There is no way—and maybe no reason—to unite TV’s divided audience. If television creators began by trying desperately not to offend, they clearly learned that the opposite approach can work just as well: a show that speaks to multiple audiences can get ratings by offering many ways to be a fan. As for the “vast wasteland” debate, at times it feels as if the balance has shifted so far toward a reflexive cynicism (about torture as entertainment, for example) that it’s difficult even to talk about the subject—at least, without getting called a Margaret Dumont. Perhaps there’s another way to look at it, which is to imagine an ethical quality that is embedded in real originality. The best series rattle us and wake us up; the worst are numbing agents. Sometimes, a divided audience is a result of mixed messages, an incoherent text; sometimes, it’s a sign of a bold experiment that we are still learning how to watch. But there’s a lot to be said for a show that is potent without being perfect, or maybe simply perfect for its moment: storytelling that alters the audience by demanding that viewers do more than just watch."
television  criticism  1970s  morality  history 
april 2014 by tsuomela
Moral Character: An Empirical Theory // Reviews // Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // University of Notre Dame
"Christian B. Miller, Moral Character: An Empirical Theory, Oxford University Press, 2013, 346pp., $55.00 (hbk), ISBN 9780199674350."
book  review  philosophy  morality  ethics  psychology  empathy  compassion 
february 2014 by tsuomela
Just thinking about science triggers moral behavior : Nature News & Comment
"They hypothesized that there is a deep-seated perception of science as a moral pursuit — its emphasis on truth-seeking, impartiality and rationality privileges collective well-being above all else. Their new study, published in the journal PLOSOne, argues that the association between science and morality is so ingrained that merely thinking about it can trigger more moral behavior."
science  morality  ethics  priming  psychology  social-psychology 
august 2013 by tsuomela
The Moral Roots of Environmental Attitudes
"Americans’ attitudes about the environment are highly polarized, but it is unclear why this is the case. We conducted five studies to examine this issue. Studies 1a and 1b demonstrated that liberals, but not conservatives, view the environment in moral terms and that this tendency partially explains the relation between political ideology and environmental attitudes. Content analyses of newspaper op-eds (Study 2a) and public-service announcements (Study 2b) found that contemporary environmental discourse is based largely on moral concerns related to harm and care, which are more deeply held by liberals than by conservatives. However, we found that reframing proenvironmental rhetoric in terms of purity, a moral value resonating primarily among conservatives, largely eliminated the difference between liberals’ and conservatives’ environmental attitudes (Study 3). These results establish the importance of moralization as a cause of polarization on environmental attitudes and suggest that reframing environmental discourse in different moral terms can reduce the gap between liberals and conservatives in environmental concern."
environment  global-warming  climate-change  morality  ideology  argument  bias 
december 2012 by tsuomela
Ethico-Politico Weariness « Larval Subjects .
"These days I find myself feeling deeply weary where discussions about ethics and politics are concerned. I reflect on this, I wonder why. Why is it that I grow so tired, so jaded, whenever discussions of politics and ethics come up. I’m divided between two tendencies, two orientations. On the one hand, there is my desire for justice, equity, and fairness. On the other hand, there is my Lucretian and Spinozist desire for peace of mind and beautitude."
ethics  politics  morality  philosophy  exhaustion  emotion  affect 
october 2012 by tsuomela
The Contemporary Condition: The Church of Capitalism: Why Right-Wing Economics is Once Again not Rational
"Malthus-like religiously-inspired economics has returned to public discourse with a vengeance. Its unwavering insistence on its policy prescriptions regardless of circumstances is perhaps one reason it appeals to deeply religious constituencies, who steadfastly believe in timeless moral certainties regardless of the facts. It may also be why these constituencies support these policies at the cost of their own economic interests. In the end, however, it is our ability to act collectively as a nation to take rational, factually-supported steps to resolve the current economic crisis that is the major casualty of this return to economic mysticism."
economics  religion  ideology  morality  capitalism 
october 2012 by tsuomela
Ingrid Newkirk: Top Scientific Minds Declare That We Are Just One Among Many Animals
"So, animals are conscious beings, capable of understanding cause-and-effect relationships, forming abstract thoughts, solving problems, using language, making tools, exhibiting long-term memory, and showing empathy, in many cases with skills that are superior to those of humans. But more importantly, animals can comprehend when they are being abused and killed, and they feel anxiety, fear and pain, just as humans do."
animal-rights  animals  ethics  morality  science  consciousness 
august 2012 by tsuomela
Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America | Visions | AlterNet
The rich are different now because the elites who spent four centuries sucking the South dry and turning it into an economic and political backwater have now vanquished the more forward-thinking, democratic Northern elites. Their attitudes towards freedom, authority, community, government, and the social contract aren't just confined to the country clubs of the Gulf Coast
the-south  politics  history  america  partisanship  slave  morality  conservative  values  american 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Moral Intuitions: Are Philosophers Experts? by Kevin Tobia, Wesley Buckwalter, Stephen Stich :: SSRN
"Recently psychologists and experimental philosophers have reported findings showing that in some cases ordinary people’s moral intuitions are affected by factors of dubious relevance to the truth of the content of the intuition. Some defend the use of intuition as evidence in ethics by arguing that philosophers are the experts in this area, and philosophers’ moral intuitions are both different from those of ordinary people and more reliable. We conducted two experiments indicating that philosophers and non-philosophers do indeed sometimes have different moral intuitions, but challenging the notion that philosophers have better or more reliable intuitions. "
philosophy  morality  ethics  psychology  expertise  academic 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Moral rethink | Prospect Magazine
"But this does not mean that it is wrong to push the question even further, asking how we can be encouraged to care more about the well-being and suffering of those who happened not to be born within the same borders as us. Haidt thinks liberals ignore concepts like authority and the sacred. But really, liberalism’s power consists in challenging the moral relevance of such concepts. Since liberals dispute that authority really is of fundamental moral importance, it is circular reasoning to argue that this is a form of “moral blindness.”"
book  review  morality  politics  liberal  conservative  moral-language  cognition  emotion  ethics  liberalism 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Last hope for the left | Prospect Magazine
"So, is the future post-liberal? The WEIRD liberalism of the baby boomer generation was perhaps condemned to a dogmatic universalism as a result of emerging in the shadow of two world wars, the Holocaust and the anti-colonial and civil rights struggles. There was a lot to react against and it is perhaps understandable that in eagerly embracing the moral equality of all humans, some boomers slipped into a carelessness towards national borders and identities and a rigidity towards many forms of equality. The next generation of politics need not make the same mistake."
book  review  morality  politics  liberal  conservative  moral-language  cognition  emotion 
may 2012 by tsuomela
Book Review: What Money Can't Buy -
"Proponents of market morality claim that it imposes no belief system, but that's just a smoke screen. Choosing to place utility maximization at the core of your belief system is no different from choosing any other guiding ideological precept. Every problem has an incentive-based solution
book  review  economics  morality  philosophy  markets  triumphalism 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior
Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.
psychology  lying  behavior  morality  ethics  class  income  money  socioeconomic  status  judgment  self-interest 
february 2012 by tsuomela - National Science Foundation (NSF) News - New Studies Determine Which Social Class More Likely to Behave Unethically - US National Science Foundation (NSF)
A series of studies conducted by psychologists at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Toronto in Canada reveal something the well off may not want to hear. Individuals who are relatively high in social class are more likely to engage in a variety of unethical behaviors.
psychology  lying  behavior  morality  ethics  class  income  money 
february 2012 by tsuomela
Higher and lower virtues in commercial society: Adam Smith and motivation crowding out
"Motivation crowding out can lead to a reduction of ‘higher’ virtues, such as altruism or public spirit, in market contexts. This article discusses the role of virtue in the moral and economic theory of Adam Smith. It argues that because Smith’s account of commercial society is based on ‘lower’ virtue, ‘higher’ virtue has a precarious place in it
philosophy  economics  morality  values 
october 2011 by tsuomela
Science and hobbies | through the looking glass
"regular event with the Biochemical Society exploring science online. Last week, we had one on science and hobbies, a combination that doesn’t need the web to come about, but is arguably facilitated by it. I know the word ‘hobby’ seemed a bit off-puttingly folksy for some, but I wanted to capture the difference between doing or talking about science for a living, and doing/ talking about science in one’s spare time. Fully aware that this divide isn’t clear cut, I thought the topic would generate debate. I think it did." Annotated link
citizen-science  hobbies  science  crowdsourcing  morality  outsourcing  labor  work  public-understanding  engagment  public 
september 2011 by tsuomela
ScienceDirect - Cognition : The mismeasure of morals: Antisocial personality traits predict utilitarian responses to moral dilemmas
"Researchers have recently argued that utilitarianism is the appropriate framework by which to evaluate moral judgment, and that individuals who endorse non-utilitarian solutions to moral dilemmas (involving active vs. passive harm) are committing an error. We report a study in which participants responded to a battery of personality assessments and a set of dilemmas that pit utilitarian and non-utilitarian options against each other. Participants who indicated greater endorsement of utilitarian solutions had higher scores on measures of Psychopathy, machiavellianism, and life meaninglessness. These results question the widely-used methods by which lay moral judgments are evaluated, as these approaches lead to the counterintuitive conclusion that those individuals who are least prone to moral errors also possess a set of psychological characteristics that many would consider prototypically immoral."
morality  ethics  utilitarianism 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Troubling News for Economic Libertarians, Death-Penalty Advocates, and Neo-Conservatives? Moral Judgments and the Dark Triad Personality Traits: A Correlational Study by Marcus Arvan :: SSRN
"This experiment examined correlations between ethical value judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey (MIS), and scores on the Short D3 “Dark Triad” Personality Inventory - a measure of three related “dark and socially destructive” personality traits: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy. "
politics  ethics  morality  personality  libertarianism  conservatism 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Rationally Speaking: On ethics, part I: Moral philosophy’s third way
"For me, moral philosophy is about a type of reasoning, which — like all reasoning, and particularly the logico-mathematical variety — begins with certain assumptions (which can, of course, in turn be scrutinized, empirically or logically) and attempts to unpack the logical consequences of such assumptions. Occasionally, some of those consequences lead to incoherence, or to unfruitful results, in which case one may want to (very cautiously) go back and revise a sub-set of the assumptions themselves before resuming the process. (This is a common procedure in philosophical reasoning, the above mentioned reflective equilibrium.)"
ethics  philosophy  metaethics  relativism  eliminativism  nihilism  morality 
august 2011 by tsuomela
Creating Capabilities - Martha C. Nussbaum - Harvard University Press
"In this powerful critique, Martha Nussbaum argues that our dominant theories of development have given us policies that ignore our most basic human needs for dignity and self-respect. For the past twenty-five years, Nussbaum has been working on an alternate model to assess human development: the Capabilities Approach. She and her colleagues begin with the simplest of questions: What is each person actually able to do and to be? What real opportunities are available to them? "
book  publisher  political-science  capabilities  morality  ethics 
august 2011 by tsuomela
An Attributional Analysis of Reactions to Poverty: The Political Ideology of the Giver and the Perceived Morality of the Receiver
An attributional analysis of reactions to poverty is presented. The article begins by discussing the perceived causes of poverty and their taxonomic properties (locus, stability, and controllability). One antecedent of causal beliefs, political ideology, is then examined in detail, followed by a review of the effects of causal beliefs on emotions and behavior. It is contended that helping the poor is a moral issue, but the moral evaluation concerns the targeted recipient of aid rather than the potential help giver. Persons perceived as responsible for their plight, a dominant construal for conservatives, elicit anger and neglect. In contrast, those seen as not responsible for their financial hardship, an outlook predominantly endorsed by liberals, arouse sympathy and help giving. Sympathy is the most important proximal determinant of aid. This analysis is extended to reactions to achievement failure, abortion, and rape. Policy implications are also examined.
psychology  research  political-science  poverty  attribution  morality  perception 
june 2011 by tsuomela
Churchland, P.S.: Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality.
"What is morality? Where does it come from? And why do most of us heed its call most of the time? In Braintrust, neurophilosophy pioneer Patricia Churchland argues that morality originates in the biology of the brain. She describes the "neurobiological platform of bonding" that, modified by evolutionary pressures and cultural values, has led to human styles of moral behavior. The result is a provocative genealogy of morals that asks us to reevaluate the priority given to religion, absolute rules, and pure reason in accounting for the basis of morality"
book  publisher  philosophy  neurology  biology  ethics  morality 
may 2011 by tsuomela
Detailed discussion of the HarperCollins proposal to limit e-book library checkouts to 26.
publisher  publishing  economics  libraries  copyright  intellectual-property  ownership  morality  e-books  electronic  digital-library  digital 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Morality Tales — Crooked Timber
"The typical occupant of a berth on a standard ‘Goody Two-Shoes’ class, twin-drive deontonautic freighter—such as MA Corp’s Indulgence, Dispensation, Practice, or Damned Spot—is a wealthy, fare-paying, elderly private citizen. Pilots are another matter. It is an unfortunate fact that travel to deontically possible worlds can only transpire via ‘Nietzsche Space’—beneath good and evil, as the mathematicians say. Only a human mind can navigate
philosophy  speculation  morality  possible-worlds 
march 2011 by tsuomela
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